• DateSeptember 6, 2022
  • AuthorFlowState Branding
  • Post TypeStrategy

The Difference Between Branding and Marketing

Guest blog by Brendan Coyne

In a world of limited attention spans, technological advancement, and intense competition, how do you clearly communicate the full impact of your brand like you’re William Faulkner but also tell its story in a simple, Hemingway-esque style to distinguish yourself?

The answer, quite simply, is getting your brand’s personality out in front of the people through strategic and targeted marketing campaigns. Using marketing and brand identity together is critical – the combination will create an engaging energy, keeping your customers connected with and loyal to the brand for the long run.

“There is very good evidence that continuing to invest in strong brands, through effective marketing that connects with more consumers, adds value to businesses.” – Adweek

What is Brand Identity?

Defining and creating who you are as a company, what makes you unique, and your overall consistent promise to the consumer is the essence of brand identity. Identity also includes your mission statement, core values, and company standards as well as your company’s logo, core design elements, and brand voice.

“Brand voice helps you stand out from the crowd…consumers surveyed had reasons why some brands stood out more than others. Forty percent said memorable content, 33% said distinct personality and 32% said compelling storytelling. In all three of these aspects, brand voice plays a significant role. You can’t have a distinct personality without a distinct brand voice.” – Sprout Social

These brand elements are important, because they will be the distinctive characteristics that resonate with your audience and build emotional bonds over time. Clients and customers will eventually experience a specific feeling as they interact with your company. What the customer feels is what they remember, which will keep them coming back for more.

FlowState Brand Guidelines

 Brand guidelines

And so, what is Marketing?

With your brand identity established in support of your product or services, it’s now time to leverage some strategic marketing to make sure what you’re offering can reach its intended audience. Good marketing strategies use multiple platforms to find your audience where they are, usually a combination of paid digital ads, social media, email campaigns, and even traditional media like commercials and billboards. In its most distilled form, branding is the message, marketing is the messenger. 

Marketing in Action

Marketing in action

Key Differences
  • Branding is a key component in establishing and defining your company, serving as guiding principles as your brand scales and grows.
  • Marketing is a strategic effort to connect with customers and showcase your products or services. 
  • Marketing is more likely to be based on current trends, evolving technology, and strategies that can change over time. Brand Identity is more stable and should only change as your company and goals grow and evolve.
  • Brand Identity can have a major impact on your company’s vibe and culture. A brand that your employees are excited about and invested in will keep them engaged (and might have them excitedly repping company merch.). Marketing, by contrast, does not necessarily have to have this inspirational effect on your work culture and employees.
Here’s how they come together

Even though brand identity and marketing are different, they work very closely with one another. Together, they can become super-charged and grow your business by reaching new, customers and ensuring you strike that emotional chord with them.

“Branding and product marketing are among the most frequently used terms in marketing. While it may not seem like they overlap much at all, both are vital components of building and growing your business” Forbes

Your marketing tactics will communicate crucial information and messages to customers, and those messages are all the more powerful if they strategically and artfully ensure that your brand personality shines through. This means keeping your communication consistent with your brand voice, tone, and authentic identity – your brand is truly at the epicenter of any good marketing strategy.

Even though marketing and branding are inherently different, their considerable overlap means you need to make sure they play nicely together. Your brand is the touchstone to guide your decisions, from marketing, sales initiatives, and even new product development. Establish a clear brand identity and let it be your guide.